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Delhi may be the 1st state to ratify GST Bill
Delhi is likely to be the first state in the country to ratify the GST Amendment Bill, with Home Minister Satyendra Jain saying the Delhi government will convene an assembly session from 22 August to get the Bill passed by Parliament. The 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill must be ratified by half of the states to become a law. Speaking to the media, Jain said the Aam Aadmi Party government is positively considering the GST Bill as it will increase the state's earning.

Source: Business Standard dated 9 August 2016

GST rollout deadline of April challenging: Raghuram Rajan
Dispelling fears of price rise due to the rollout of GST, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said its impact could be assessed only after the GST rate is decided and inflation could be short-lived as seen in many other countries. "While timely implementation of GST will be challenging, there is no doubt that it should raise returns to investment across much of the economy, even while strengthening government finances over the medium term," Rajan said in the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement.

Source: Business Standard dated 9 August 2016

Congress and BJP states to ratify GST speedily
Congress party leader Veerappa Moily said the party's eight state governments would try to ratify the Constitutional Amendment Bill to enable a national GST as soon as possible. "Our governments will not be an obstacle. It is a win-win situation for all states," he said. The Lok Sabha cleared the amendment as passed by the Rajya Sabha last week. Now, of the 29 states, a minimum of 15 need to ratify the amendment for it get presidential assent and become a law. Passage by a simple majority will suffice.

Source: Business Standard dated 8 August 2016

GST Bill passed in Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha unanimously passed the GST Bill along with all the amendments made in the Rajya Sabha. All 443 members of the lower house voted in favour of the Bill after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asked for the Bill to be passed. The lower house had passed the Bill on 6 May 2015 and had sent it to the Rajya Sabha for ratification. The upper house passed the Bill with amendments at its 3 August session and returned it to Lok Sabha.

Source: Business Standard dated 8 August 2016

GST rate likely to be higher than 18%
A day after the Bill to amend the Constitution was approved by the Rajya Sabha, paving the way for GST, the centre seemed to concede that the rate at which the new indirect tax will be levied on most goods is likely to be higher than 18%. While the decision would be taken by the GST Council, comprising Union and State Finance Ministers, proposed to be set up after the process of amending the constitution is completed, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia told a press conference that it would be 'premature' to expect the standard GST rate to be 18%, much lower than the combined rates of excise duty and value-added tax.

Source: The Hindu dated 5 August 2016

GST's hidden treasure of USD 200 billion
GST, one of the biggest reforms in India's indirect tax structure, is likely to revolutionise the Indian economy in an unprecedented manner. As envisaged, GST will propel GDP growth to newer heights, lower income disparity and simplify decision making of businesses. The rollout of GST will be a milestone for the nation as its implementation will have a significant impact on the Indian economy. It will substantially lower the indirect tax incidence over a period of time, which will reduce the costs of manufactured goods.

Source: Moneycontrol dated 4 August 2016

Finally, GST Constitutional Amendment Bill passed in Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha passed the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill which the Lok Sabha had approved last year. The exact rate of the tax will only be decided in the weeks or months ahead. The legislation was approved by the Rajya Sabha with 203 votes in favour and none against in the 243-member House. The Bill was passed after a seven-hour debate.

Source: The Times of India dated 3 August 2016

Did you know?
In order to convert a Constitutional Amendment Bill into Law, the following steps will have to be taken post clearance of the Bill from the Parliament.
  1. Ratification by at least 50% of the state legislatures; and
  2. The Presidential assent
The 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill (GST Bill) will also have to go through the same process in order to amend the constitution.
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